In his first weekend of the fall campaign, Donald Trump stepped into one, um, pile after another. The biggest, of course, was his turning one DNC speech into a week of headlines. That is, he just couldn’t accept that one person on the face of the earth thinks poorly of him, so he tried to demean and ridicule the parents of a dead military hero, to get even. But let’s talk about another of the weekend issues. That is, Trump’s interview in which he told George Stephanoplous the following, according to The Hill:
Donald Trump said in an interview Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t going to go into Ukraine, even though the Russian military has intervened in the nation’s affairs since 2014.
“He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down,” the GOP presidential nominee said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Host George Stephanopoulos pushed back, saying, “Well, he’s already there, isn’t he?”
“OK, well, he’s there in a certain way,” Trump responded.
“But I’m not there. You have [President] Obama there. And, frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama, with all the strength that you’re talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this.”
Earlier, Trump had deflected criticism that he was too palsy with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. His first response was, of course, “I never met the man.” Then, he went on to say he never had any dealings with Russia, which was false, and his staff had voluminous Russian, and Soviet Ukranian ties. But let’s forget about all that. . .How about Hillary?
The Wall Street Journal is asking why Hillary Clinton’s State Department urged US investors to fund Russian research for military purposes.
Hillary Clinton touts her tenure as secretary of state as a time of hardheaded realism and “commercial diplomacy” that advanced American national and commercial interests. . . The stated goal at the time: “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.”. . .
Consider Skolkovo, an “innovation city” of 30,000 people on the outskirts of Moscow, billed as Russia’s version of Silicon Valley—and a core piece of Mrs. Clinton’s quarterbacking of the Russian reset.
What could possibly go wrong?
Soon, dozens of U.S. tech firms, including top Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Intel and Cisco, made major financial contributions to Skolkovo, with Cisco committing a cool $1 billion. . .
The state-of-the-art technological research coming out of Skolkovo raised alarms among U.S. military experts and federal law-enforcement officials. Research conducted in 2012 on Skolkovo by the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for world-wide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.”
Moreover, the report said: “the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. . . . Not all of the center’s efforts are civilian in nature.”
That’s not Hillary’s only Russian connection, according to Breitbart.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta sat on the board of a small energy company alongside Russian officials that received $35 million from a Putin-connected Russian government fund, a relationship Podesta failed to fully disclose on his federal financial disclosures as required by law. . .
The GAI investigative report says it’s unclear how much, if any, money Podesta made. The reason: Podesta was on the board of three Joule entities, but only listed two on his disclosure; the most important entity, Joule Stichting, he did not list. “Podesta’s compensation by Joule cannot be fully determined,” reads the report. “In his 2014 federal government disclosure filing, Podesta lists that he divested stock options from Joule. However, the disclosure does not cover the years 2011-2012.”
Why Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company is presently unknown.
And then, there’s the uranium scandal, from Business Insider.
The basic facts: This story is about the sale of a controlling stake in a Canadian company called Uranium One to Rosatom, the Russian atomic energy agency. Because Uranium One controlled uranium mines in the United States, the sale had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment In the United States (CFIUS), part of the executive branch. . .
What’s the allegation against Hillary Clinton? The reason this is a story is the potential that there was some quid pro quo involved: that in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation and/or the speech Bill Clinton gave in Russia, Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to make approval of this sale happen. It need not be explicit, but at the very least there has to be a connection between donations and official action that Clinton took.
What’s the evidence for that allegation? There isn’t any, at least not yet. The only evidence is timing: people who would benefit from the sale made donations to the foundation at around the same time the matter was before the government.
And, finally, back to Trump, is it really all bad that he’s so chummy with Putin? Not at all, says Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton.
Cohen says the media at large is doing a huge disservice to the American people by ignoring the substance of Trump’s arguments about NATO and Russia, and buying the Clinton campaign’s simplistic smear that Trump is a Russian “Manchurian candidate.”. . .
“Then along comes, unexpectedly, Donald Trump,” he continued, “Who says he wants to end the New Cold War, and cooperate with Russia in various places… and –astonishingly– the media is full of what only can be called neo-McCarthyite charges that he is a Russian agent, that he is a Manchurian candidate, and that he is Putin’s client.”. . .
Cohen also said. “Trump said early on, he wanted to know, 60 years after its foundation, what was NATO’s mission today. 100 policy wonks in Washington since the end of the Soviet Union, 25 years ago, have asked the same question. Is NATO an organization in search of a mission?”
This brings us back to the beginning.